I love this piece from the New York Times take a gander at the opening paragraph:
“Many New Yorkers were suspicious of the newcomers’ plans to build a house of worship in Manhattan. Some feared the project was being underwritten by foreigners. Others said the strangers’ beliefs were incompatible with democratic principles.
Concerned residents staged demonstrations, some of which turned bitter.
But cooler heads eventually prevailed; the project proceeded to completion. And this week, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Lower Manhattan — the locus of all that controversy two centuries ago and now the oldest Catholic church in New York State — is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone.”
Now here’s the quiz, who was this been said about:
“Few of their children in the country learn English. … They will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”
If you guessed Benjamin Franklin in 1751 about German immigrants you are correct. Below is a link to a very interesting piece on American bigotry:
These two pieces very much show the shameful side of America’s history of bigotry. The anger around the supposed ground-zero mosque certainly has components of rightful anger related to 9/11, unfortunately I would love to be convinced that’s all it is. However, as we have seen since the inception of our country new immigrants have suffered the same type of bigotry just for being new and just for being different. America my friends is NOT a Judeo-Christian country, it is a country founded by primarily Judeo-Christian men. Their predecessors came here to establish a country where the most important concept is, was and will hopefully always be freedom, not religion. Freedom to believe as you please and to build anything you want, anywhere you want, as long as you do not violate the laws of the land. At the end of the day that is what makes America great and why we should we truly be proud of our country. What we should also be proud of is our progress. When our founding fathers founded our country, it was a country found by and for men. Since those days we have grown to recognize the rights of women to vote, of blacks to be full citizens with all of those rights including the right to vote (even if that did take almost 200 years), to allow same-sex partners to have partnership rights and even in some places to marry. So my hope for America is that we can recognize our mistakes from history and maybe, just maybe speed up our progress to truly allow people in this country to be free, even with the costs that come with that freedom.